Edinburgh is many place to me, it drags me back, pulls me sideways and spits me out in any direction. I prefer not to travel there alone.
A glimpse in a tent and I’m part of the festival - celebration of a community for a common cause; interacting, laughing, holding back tears, questioning, realigning. Something started as an add-on but now so much more than a fringe.
I escape briefly – to get cash, just a moment beneath the dome and I’m 17 again, the bustle of a Saturday night, new friends and new places, new freedom, standing in the same queue. We were the noise and the chaos, testing limits, drawing lines, when I felt small and adventurous in this place.
Past the pub where we met, listening; frantically trying to guess the song intros, chatting between the rounds, we’re regulars again, finally established in the city, which is almost my own. I grab a hot chocolate - change for the meter, almost following the old footsteps to class, I detour around a new building, but so many other stone still remain.
I’ve only walked two blocks but covering those 4 streets covers 12 years. There’s been plenty of change, but it’s been welcome rather than feared. I have so much to thank these streets for, for sending me towards where I am, maybe they chucked me out in the right direction after all.
Suddenly I’m back more Fringe festivities, where the glamour of show business is removed. Where we’re captivated by our entertainer and we also get to shake hand afterwards. My perception of what we see is not that of a 17year old or a 20 year old anymore, the show challenges my beliefs and ideas, I’m not defensive rather curious, I check my alignment but I’m happy.